Salesforce Advisory Services

Salesforce Advisory Services

When Salesforce consulting firms help their clients create a strategy for how to use Salesforce, they often refer to this as Salesforce Advisory Services. While Advisory Services is a popular term, there can be ambiguity about what it actually entails. What activities are involved in an Advisory Services engagement? When should organizations consider Advisory Services?

What is Salesforce Advisory Services?

Advisory is an often misunderstood term. It’s not just about giving advice, there are specific types of activities and deliverables included in this work. Much of this work requires a deep understanding of the platform and technology. The goal of Advisory Services is to provide direction for a Company’s Salesforce org: defining vision, outcomes, and potential projects that align with a company’s strategic goals.

The Salesforce platform is a central part of the advisory engagement, but it is not only about technology. Can be delivered by a number of different parties:

  • Advisory Firm or Consultant
  • System Integrator
  • Salesforce Professional Services
  • In House

Not every advisor will have expertise in all possible areas of advisory. Make sure to select an advisory with the right expertise & focus for your needs.

Types of Advisory Services

When you think of Advisory work, what kinds of activities or services come to mind?

  1. Discovery 
  2. Assessment
  3. Outcomes & Metrics
  4. Journey Mapping
  5. Ideation
  6. Best Practices
  7. Business Case
  8. Architecture Strategy
  9. Staffing Strategy
  10. Roadmapping
  11. Product Selection
  12. Vendor Selection

1. Discovery

In the Discovery phase, we need to do Interviews/Elicitation, Research & Needs Analysis. It determine high-level vision and goals for the organization’s customer/constituent relationship management capabilities. May include exercises like Challenge Framing, Job Stories.

2. Assessment

Assessment of Current State: 

  • Technology
  • Business Process
  • Organizational Structure
  • Team Dynamics

3. Outcomes & Metrics Definition

Identifying and Prioritizing Desired Business Outcomes. Important: 

  • An Outcome is a positive/desired change in customer behavior. Ex: 25% increase in the number of bookings for our product demo
  • Outcomes provide a shared definition of success across IT and Business
  • Read More: Outcomes over Outputs by Josh Seiden

Defining Metrics to measure Outcomes.

4. Journey Mapping

Journey Mapping analyzes Customer Facing experience. It identifies pain points and opportunities multiply dimensions: Process, Actions, Thoughts, Feelings, Touchpoints, Context, and Opportunities.

5. Ideation

Identifying possible opportunities to achieve desired outcomes. Opportunity Solution Trees (tool by Teresa Torres). How Might We brainstorm Opportunities could be technology, process, organizational, creative (copy, graphic design), etc.

6. Best Practices

What is the consensus best practice among practitioners? How are other organizations solving this business problem?  Best practices may include Salesforce platform best practices as well as domain/business best practices (marketing, sales, service, vertical-specific, etc).

7. Business Case

Create a written Business Case document/deck. Cost Benefit Analysis. Business Case deliverable is a valuable tool for getting buy-in across the organization. Business Case should resonate with IT and Business.

8. Architecture Strategy

Document current state Data & Systems architecture. Propose future state architecture/improvements and rollout/phasing strategy important to find the right level of detail. For an Advisory engagement, we wouldn’t expect an exhaustive Architectural assessment. At the same time, the assessment needs to be deep enough to provide meaningful insights & recommendations.

9. Staffing Strategy

Define the Org chart, Job descriptions, In House vs. External (Consultant/Freelance/Fractional)

10. Roadmapping

Recommendations & Options. Roadmapping should be focused on desired outcomes rather than features.

11. Product Selection

Assess Salesforce, Appexchange or 3rd party products available. Build vs Buy analysis. Research, Proof of Concept

12. Vendor Selection

Helping client select a Partner / System Integrator to deliver implementation/projects or managed services.

Salesforce Advisory Services Video

Learn the ways that Salesforce professionals can build their Advisory & Strategy skills.

How to build your Advisory Skills

  1. Know the Salesforce platform and best practices
  2. Get Involved with the Salesforce ecosystem, build your network and research how other experts are solving for similar business cases 
  3. Get experience working with Senior Stakeholders
  4. Get the Strategy Design Certification

Amit Chaudhary

Amit Chaudhary

Amit Chaudhary is Salesforce Application & System Architect and working on Salesforce Platform since 2010. He is Salesforce MVP since 2017 and have 17 Salesforce Certificates. He is a active blogger and founder of Apex Hours.

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